Pilot Officer Virgil Austin MARTIN

Service No: 417096
Born: Cleveland, United States, 19 December 1909
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 December 1941
Unit: No. 61 Squadron (RAF), RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 61 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DV339), North West Europe, 26 November 1943, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Virgil John and Eileen Martin; husband of Mona Woods Martin, of Woodville, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Woodville SA
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Lancaster DV339 of No. 61 Squadron left RAF Station Skellingthorpe at 1721 hours on 26 November 1943 on a bombing operation on Berlin. Since its departure no communication was received from the aircraft which failed to return to base and all members of crew reported missing. Pilots of other aircraft on the same operation reported clear visibility, no cloud with slight ground haze. Fighters were met en route also on the return journey. In the target area there was considerable searchlight activity and heavy anti-aircraft fire. Fires were well concentrated and visible many miles away. No observations were made by other crews which could have been related to the non-return of DV 339. In 1949 the crew were recorded as missing with no known grave.

The crew members of DV339 were:

Pilot Officer Hector William Harris (414024) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Virgil Austin Martin (417096) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer John Gilbert McAlpine (408917) (Pilot)
Sergeant Harold Sewell Oldfield (1322967) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Sydney Heald (160862) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Sergeant Bryan Henry Varey (R/182204) (RCAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Vine (1624673) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/27/284

Book Now Book Now